Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist raised more than $3 million in just over a week since the Democratic Primary, his campaign announced.
The fundraising breaks his previous campaign record. The Democratic nominee’s nine-day haul comes from over 24,000 supporters, with over 95% support from small dollar donors who gave $250 or less, according to his campaign.
“I’m deeply grateful for the outpouring of love and support our campaign has received as we work to unite Florida and defeat Ron DeSantis in November,” Crist said in a statement. “Floridians deserve a governor who cares for them and their house, not the White House and big-dollar special interests. Our campaign is powered by the people, for the people. Come November, we’ll make Ron DeSantis a one-term governor and restore respect and decency to the Sunshine State.”
The most recent fundraising news shows Crist picked up momentum in August. In the first 11 days of of the month, Crist raised $1 million for his campaign. That’s on the heels of raising $2.3 million in July.
But, he’ll need to keep up the momentum to compete with incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis, who faced no Primary challengers, holds more than $10 million in the bank for his candidate account and controls another nearly $120 million with a committee.
The Governor spent substantially leading into the August Primary despite not having his name on the ballot, plunking down more than $8 million in the month of August as he campaigned for endorsed School Board candidates. He slowed down expenses in the final week before the Primary, but only after sending a variety of mailers in counties around Florida.
Crist also spent big before the Aug. 23 Primary, in which he defeated fellow Democrat Nikki Fried by 25 points.
A Democratic Governors Association-commissioned poll by Impact Research showed DeSantis up by 5 percentage points. Liberal groups Progress Florida and Florida Watch published polling modeled on a Republican-leaning Midterm electorate and found DeSantis leading with 48% to Crist’s 45%. That closely matches findings for a generic ballot test showing 48% of voters feel inclined to vote Republican in the Midterms and 45% intend to vote Democratic. That puts the race within the poll’s 1.78% margin of error.
In the last week, Crist has made several headlines, first for announcing his running mate, United Teachers of Dade President Karla Hernández, and also for his resignation from Congress to focus on the Governor’s race.
Crist has represented Florida’s 13th Congressional District since winning the seat in the 2016 election. Crist was elected Governor as a Republican in 2006 but left the party and did not seek re-election in 2010, opting instead for a bid for the U.S. Senate.